b. 1911 in Niagara,
d. 1987 Richmond,
People of great
reserve, love and a determination to do what is right, are the legacy
from Frank and Margaret to our family.
At first, my
impression of these two fine people was from the ever-changing viewpoint
of a growing lad. A consistent theme was their commitment to provide
food and shelter for their family.
through which they entered adulthood, marriage and parenthood would
be regarded by today's standards as primitive but perhaps they had
a better quality of life.
The sheer physical
nature of their daily routine meant a down to earth approach to
life. This was probably why my father and mother had such a strong
work ethic primarily charged with ensuring the family were clothed,
housed and fed.
When I reflect
on the early thirties, I wonder when my parents slept. As people
fired with ambition they embraced the challenge of the land that
surrounded them and the opportunities that were available.
The land gave
them their living, first sawmilling then a dairy herd and later
running sheep on the farm they bought in 1944. Before becoming the
proud landowners of Connor's Farm at Haldane, Frank and Margaret
had lived with their young family near the sawmills serving Catlins
Forest Park at Progress Valley and Waikawa.
It was at Waikawa
that the family spent the winter in a tent.The family at that time
comprised my three elder brothers Frank III, Ian and Alan.
Frank senior would drove the growing herd of dairy cows to a paddock
outside the Niagara Mill. He would then spend the day tending the
mill's steam engine and performing duties as a sawyer before herding
the cows home for the evening milking.
talking about our ancestors I have discovered that the courage and
determination of my parents runs throughout the history of the Pope
family. Of them both, it could be said, still waters run deep. They
were creative individuals readily sharing their talents with the
family and the community.
a member of the Women's Division of Federated Farmers, the first
family member to be in the federation. She was an Anglican, Frank
a Presbyterian. I have always wondered what Dad's Christian experience
was. It has always puzzled me, he never said anything critical of
the Church or Christianity.
On the sports
field both Frank and Margaret excelled with Dad a wood chopping
champion and rugby representative for Southland. Both were accomplished
tennis players. Mum played representative hockey and remembers very
well one glorious encounter when playing in the
Grow old along
The best is yet to be.
The last of life, for which the first was made.
Robert Browning "'Rabbi Ben Ezra"